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Sir Ian McKellen throws subtle shade at Dominic Cummings over his infamous Durham trip: ‘Some people don’t know how to behave’

Patrick Kelleher August 13, 2020
Dominic Cummings Ian McKellen

Dominic Cummings (Leon Neal/Getty) and Ian McKellen (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)

Sir Ian McKellen has thrown subtle shade at Dominic Cummings over his infamous trip to Durham in the middle of coronavirus lockdown, and we are absolutely here for it.

McKellen made the comments during a live-streamed event on Wednesday night (August 12), where he criticised the UK government for not trusting the public to obey lockdown rules.

“People are very happy to obey orders, in this democracy, if they see it’s coming from a sensible place,” he argued.

The acclaimed gay actor believes the government assumed that the public would not have the patience and restraint to obey the orders.

“The government didn’t quite trust us to be grown up,” he continued.

Alluding to Cummings’ notorious Durham trip, McKellen said: “One of their people, very close to the centre of power, broke the law so perhaps they were right that there are some people who don’t know how to behave.”

Dominic Cummings accused of flouting lockdown rules with Castle Barnard trip.

Cummings, a chief government aide, sparked public outrage when it emerged that he had broken lockdown rules by driving 260 miles from London to Durham while he was sick with COVID-19 in March.

While he insisted in a press conference in May that he acted “reasonably”, his stubbornly unapologetic explanation for the trip ignited a political firestorm in Britain.

Cummings claimed that he and his wife were sick with coronavirus, and have no other choice but to drive to Durham so that his family could provide childcare for their four-year-old son.

The controversy intensified when it was revealed that, while in Durham, Cummings drove for 30 minutes to Castle Barnard to test his eyesight before making the longer trip back to London.

Durham police, forced to intervene, said that although the drive to Durham did not break lockdown rules, the Castle Barnard drive might have constituted a “minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention”. However, police confirmed they would be taking no action.

Despite calls from both Conservative politicians and members of the opposition for his resignation, Cummings remains in his post.

The unelected aide was defended by prime minister Boris Johnson, who said Cummings had “followed the instincts of every father”.

Three months on, it seems McKellen – and the wider British public – have not forgotten the incident.

More: Boris Johnson, dominic cummings, ian mckellen

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